Acidophilus Yeast

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: In this primer on the benefits of lactic acid to digestion, Dr. Royal Lee explains the science behind his remarkable bowel-normalizing product Acidophilus Yeast (known today as Lactic Acid Yeast), which has the special distinction of being able to convert any dietary carbohydrate into lactic acid within the colon. Not only does this action acidify the bowel, thus killing potentially dangerous microorganisms and promoting balanced gut flora, but the yeast also releases enzymes that aid digestion, and it provides bulk to stool—all of which help ensure proper bowel function. Dr. Lee backs up his comments by presenting a clinical study showing Acidophilus Yeast’s impressive results in combating constipation, the researchers stating unequivocally the chief reason for the yeast’s effectiveness: “It has been demonstrated time and time again that the stools of patients who are constipated are, in a very large majority, alkaline…The lactic acid acts as a stabilizer of the hydrogen ion concentration in the colon.” With many alternative health practitioners today promoting indiscriminate alkalization of the body, the words of these investigators are well worth remembering. Published by Vitamin Products Company, circa 1940.

[The following is a transcription of the original Archives document. To view or download the original document, click here.]

Acidophilus Yeast

Acidophilus Yeast, which is a mycelium-type yeast, owes its properties to a number of factors. To illustrate its function, it may serve well to follow the process of digestion.

The stomach contains acids whose function is to break down protein foods, with the aid of pepsin, into peptones and proteoses, which then pass into the small intestines.

In the small intestine, which is alkaline by nature, the protein digestion is completed, with the aid of trypsin. This is done by completing the disintegration of the partially digested proteins into their individual building blocks, or amino acids, which can then be diffused through the intestinal wall for use in the body processes. After this the contents of the intestine must be acidified to kill the undesirable and toxic microorganisms that are contained in the food-waste derivatives and that can only exist in an alkaline medium.

This is where Acidophilus Yeast enters the picture—to supply lactic acid (through the action of the Acidophilus Yeast organism) to acidify this intestinal mass in the large intestine and colon. Acidophilus Yeast contains no acidophilus bacilli but supplies valuable digestive enzymes that aid in the assimilation of the minerals in food and improve digestion.

Acidophilus Yeast differs from acidophilus bacilli in that it does not require a specialized carbohydrate such as milk sugar but can and will form lactic acid from any of the ordinary starches or sugars, whereas acidophilus bacilli can form lactic acid from milk sugar only. This would mean, then, that acidophilus bacilli would be of value only in proportion to the amount of milk consumed by the individual. This fact then emphasizes the superiority of Acidophilus Yeast over the plain acidophilus bacilli that are found in yogurt, buttermilk, raw sauerkraut, etc.

It has further advantages over these lactic-acid-forming foods in that it is available in a stable, dry form, and that it contains a much higher percentage of B complex factors than brewer’s yeast does.

In this manner it combines the benefits of brewer’s yeast with the benefits of lactic-acid-forming foods and exceeds them both in effectiveness.

By Dr. Royal Lee.

V-P 709 Acidophilus Yeast – 100 wafers per bottle $2.25
VJ –191 (R)

Vitamin Products Company
Milwaukee 3, Wisconsin

[Advertisement for Acidophilus Yeast, published by Vitamin Products Company:]

Viable Acidophilus Yeast

A new, palatable yeast that produces lactic acid by fermentation of carbohydrates and thereby restricts the growth of undesirable microorganisms in the alimentary system.

This yeast differs from ordinary yeast in that it does not form alcohol or CO2.

The daily use of two wafers before breakfast with a glass of hot water is suggested for halitosis of intestinal origin and to improve elimination.

To aid in the assimilation of food, chew one wafer after each meal.

100 wafers — $2.25

Vitamin Products Co.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Made in U.S.A.

[Additional article, by Vitamin Products Company:]

Acidophilus Yeast

A form of yeast that remains alive, in a dry wafer. When it is taken into the intestinal tract, it grows and forms lactic acid from sugars and starches—just as the sour-milk bacteria make lactic acid from milk sugar.

[Acidophilus Yeast] has the superior advantage that it is available as a dry wafer instead of requiring refrigeration, as the perishable cultures of lactic acid milk do.

The dosage is usually sufficient at one wafer after each meal. If it fails to accomplish results, the dosage may be increased one wafer per meal until it is effective. Once the intestinal tract is established with the lactic acid yeast, two or three wafers per day are sufficient, as a rule, to maintain the activity. Lactic acid in the bowel inhibits the growth of toxic bacteria and thereby protects against body and breath odor that can occur as a result. Your dog, because of his high meat diet, needs this product and will afford an interesting test for you.

Acidophilus Yeast owes its properties to a number of factors:

It produces valuable digestive enzymes that aid in the assimilation of food and improve digestion. The immediate effects of Acidophilus Yeast are due to the enzymes present. This is noticeable in its prompt action in indigestion or discomfort after meals.

It affords a convenient means of supplying lactic acid, the sources heretofore of which have been only such foods as acidophilus milk, buttermilk, and sauerkraut. A high intake of milk sugar has been recommended by some dietitians to accomplish this result, since milk sugar is fermentable only by lactic-acid-forming organisms. Acidophilus Yeast, however, does not require a specialized carbohydrate like this—it will form lactic acid from any of the ordinary nutritional starches or cereals.

Many persons who have found the use of yeast beneficial to their health will welcome this product because of its greater palatability and convenience.

The accompanying curve of lactic acid development in a culture at body temperature shows that there is an appreciable production of lactic acid in eight hours, with a maximum at a little over twenty hours.

[Figure showing lactic acid production versus time.] [Abridged research report about Acidophilus Yeast; for complete report, including case studies and a summary discussion, click here.]

Studies of a New Type of Yeast in Chronic Constipation

The most frequent complaint the general practitioner meets in the office is chronic constipation. As in all other conditions in which there is a multiplicity of remedies, few are effective without producing residual damage in the gastrointestinal tract or in other organs of the body. The following represents clinical findings in the use of “V-P” Acidophilus Yeast (a viable mycelium-yeast in dehydrated form) in the treatment of chronic constipation.

The mycelium yeast was instrumental in correcting the complaint by threefold action:

1. Formation of lactic acid, with the resultant liberation of enzymes, vitamins, and other potential factors.

2. Resultant changes in flora through increased hydrogen ion concentration in the colon.

3. Production of increased bulk in the lower portion of the gastrointestinal tract, with increased bowel tone and activity.

The production of lactic acid is an extremely important aspect in the treatment of chronic constipation with mycelium yeast. Our clinical tests have demonstrated actual production of 0.4% lactic acid during the growth phase. As this point is approached, the growth of the organisms is retarded until this percentage is reduced slightly by oxidation, after which their development is resumed.

We are able to change an alkaline colon to one of acid reaction within a short time by the formation of lactic acid in the colon as the result of the growth of mycelium yeast. This, of course, destroys or inhibits the growth of many of the pathogenic bacteria thriving in an alkaline medium. The normal nonpathogens are permitted to return and nourish in this newly acquired acid medium, which is normal in healthy individuals. Cases have been noted where stools with a pH of 8.6 have been reduced in three weeks or less to a pH of 6.8 to 7.0 on mycelium-yeast therapy alone. It has been demonstrated time and again that the stools of patients who are constipated are, in a very large majority, highly alkaline in reaction. The lactic acid acts as a stabilizer of the hydrogen ion concentration of the colon.

In both clinical and laboratory findings, we noted that there was practically no appreciable growth of the ingested yeast in under twelve hours, while the maximum growth was reached in from eighteen to twenty hours. This obviously alleviates the distressing symptoms produced by reaction of ordinary yeasts on the sugars in the upper portion of the intestinal tract—with the customary formation of alcohol and carbon dioxide gas—as is so often the case with patients taking other yeasts. We have the added advantage of sufficient time to allow the mycelium organisms to reach the colon before their activity begins. This permits the formation of lactic acid directly in the colon. The growth of the yeast produces additional bulk as it approaches the rectum; in other words, the fecal mass increases as it moves toward the rectum, instead of diminishing with dehydration.

In a number of clinical cases, a purge was administered to the patient eight hours following the ingestion of the mycelium yeast, in small cotton bags. Microscopic and macroscopic examination revealed only slight activity, and the weight of the contents of the bags after dehydration showed no appreciable increase. A similar procedure, [performed] sixteen to eighteen hours following the ingestion of the yeast, demonstrated an increase in bulk and weight of 80% to 150%. This definitely demonstrates the bulk-production factor of this type of yeast, which is so necessary to institute and aid normal peristaltic action in malfunctioning intestinal tracts. Similar tests demonstrated that ordinary baker’s yeast is almost entirely digested in the upper portion of the human intestinal tract, only 1% remaining as bulk.

These experiments have definitely demonstrated the bulk-production factor of mycelium yeast. It may be contended that agar agar, psyllium seed, and other similar products in a mineral oil emulsion can be used. This is true, but we must take into consideration the fact that petrolatum is indigestible and is not absorbed. It acts merely as a lubricant, coating the absorption surfaces of the gastrointestinal tract and thus hindering both digestion and absorption of the foods. Furthermore, recent experiments have shown that fat-soluble vitamins go into solution with this unabsorbable oil and are therefore excreted with the oil, producing a definite avitaminosis. Plain agar agar is satisfactory as a producer of mere physical bulk, but it adds nothing further to the patient’s well being. Mycelium yeast does produce a large a mount of nonirritating bulk and in addition supplies quantities of vitamins and enzymes that we believe are a responsible in part for the increased tone and activity, as well as the stimulation of normal secretions, in the digestive tract.

It has been found in cases of chronic constipation treated with all the known factors isolated as vitamins from various forms of yeast that in only a few patients were results secured equal to those produced by the mycelium yeast itself. We feel justified, therefore, in recommending mycelium yeast instead of the isolated crystalline vitamin factors or the synthetic substances so often substituted for the natural vitamin factors in the treatment of chronic constipation of the atonic type.

Recent experimental work has shown that rats fed on vitamins A, B1, G, and B6, in crystalline form, all of which are found in yeast, fell far below the normal growth curve. When fed various types of yeast without the addition of any vitamins, these same animals showed growth surpassing the normal curve. Tests on rats have demonstrated greater growth curves with mycelium than with any other type of yeast. Tests on dairy cattle demonstrate greater butterfat production with mycelium yeast than with any other [yeast]. We believe this is due to certain synergistic factors—either enzymes or natural vitamins or possibly both—developed by the mycelium organisms during their growth phase that are liberated both during [their activity] and after their activity has ceased.

In a large number of cases of chronic constipation in clinics and private practice, disappearance of symptoms was noted soon after treatment with mycelium yeast and osteopathic manipulation were instituted. Many of the patients reported increased vigor, better appetites, sounder sleep, and the disappearance of vague pains. When the yeast is administered a half-hour before meals, the patient tends to lose weight. This, we believe, is due to the high satiation value of the mycelium yeast. When [the yeast was] taken with meals, we found that there was no appreciable change in weight. When patients were told to take the yeast a half-hour following meals, there was a definite increase in appetite and a resultant increase in weight of five to ten pounds in two to three weeks.

Our experiments have demonstrated to us that the average patient will react in a satisfactory manner to mycelium-yeast therapy alone; but in a great majority of the cases in which some simple form of setting-up exercises were suggested, the patient reacted more definitely and much more quickly to treatment.


Numerous cases have been followed, with uniform good results both in clinical and private practice, most of them resolving into those cases of chronic constipation due to intestinal atony. Other types of constipation have also responded to this form of therapy but not so dramatically as the atonic type. The suggestion of some form of light setting-up exercises seems to greatly benefit, especially in restoring normal tone and peristaltic action and with bulk production of the mycelium yeast.

Caution should be exercised where there is any evidence of impaction. It is a good rule to advise colon lavage before using the yeast in cases where there is any doubt about the colon being open. Evidence of impaction is pain in the cecum after administration of the yeast, apparently due to the rapid growth of the yeast when restricted to this region by small or insufficient opening into the transverse colon.


In studies of the use of mycelium yeast in chronic constipation, the following changes were demonstrated:

1. Mycelium yeast showed definite retardation of growth during the first twelve hours in the intestinal tract, thus acting chiefly in the colon.

2. This yeast produced increase in both weight and bulk [of stool] of 80% to 150% in sixteen to twenty hours.

3. By its lactic-acid production, this yeast changed the pH of the colon, with an analogous beneficial change [occurring] in the intestinal flora.

4. Mycelium yeast is found to be a source of effective enzymes and vitamin factors.

5. The use of mineral-oil bulk producers is dangerous due to the ever-present possibility of avitaminosis.

6. Patients with a multiplicity of ailments, many of which can be traced to chronic constipation, are materially helped by mycelium-yeast therapy, with a direct decrease in complaints as the constipation is corrected.

7. Distress due to fermentation in the upper gastrointestinal tract is not present in the use of mycelium yeast.

[Note, from Vitamin Products Company:]

The foregoing represents studies made with “V-P” Acidophilus Yeast, which is much higher in the complex factors of vitamins B and G than is ordinary yeast. “Complex” is mentioned due to the fact that the difference between “complexes” and the pure [i.e., synthetic, isolated] vitamins is very well indicated by their value in supplying nutrition to yeast. The yeast plan requires vitamins of the B and G groups to live. It takes up these vitamins from the media it lives in and concentrates them to some extent thereby. We can furnish you with graphic charts that will show you the great difference in the life-giving properties of our “V-P” complexes as compared with the chemically pure substitutes, unit for unit.

“V-P” Acidophilus Yeast is offered in wafer form of 15 grains each. Packed in two sizes: No. 2 size — 100 wafers, $2.25; No. 3 size — 1000 wafers, $20.00

All content published by Vitamin Products Company, circa 1940. 

Vitamin Products Company
Milwaukee 3, Wisconsin
Printed in U.S.A.

Patrick Earvolino

Patrick Earvolino is a Certified Nutritionist and Special Projects Editor for Selene River Press, Inc.

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